Increasing fiber intake is often the solution to a myriad of health concerns. Fiber can help with conditions like constipation, regulating blood glucose, and even cancer. There are two types of fiber including soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, and they are found in many plant-based foods. It is recommended women consume twenty-five grams of fiber per day while men should take in thirty-eight grams of fiber per day for optimal health benefits. Many individuals fall far below this amount. This guide will compare these two fibers along with the health benefits of each, beginning with the basic definition of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Basic Definition Of Soluble And Insoluble Fiber
Soluble fiber, once ingested, absorbs water and forms into a sticky, gel substance in the intestines, which helps slow digestion. Soluble fiber is most often found in beans, lentils, and peas. It can also be found in some fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber is sometimes called roughage and it includes the tougher fibers of whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Insoluble fiber does not absorb nor dissolve in water, and it cannot be broken down by the intestines. Essentially, it adds the bulk to waste and acts like a cleaner to the intestines and colon. Both types of fiber play different roles in the body and both have preventative and corrective health benefits.